Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu or one of the ancient laws against the gods could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or "pu'uhonua". The offender would absolved by a priest and freed to leave. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle. The grounds just outside the Great Wall that encloses the pu'uhonua were home to several generations of powerful chiefs.
The 182 acre park, established in 1961, includes the pu'uhonua and a complex of archeological sites including: temple platforms, royal fishponds, sledding tracks, and some coastal village sites. The Hale o Keawe temple and several thatched structures have been reconstructed.